By Alfred Mthandizi
On Thursday, World Population Day, the Minister of Health for Malawi issued a statement regarding family planning. This function which included many speakers, took place in Machinga.
Atupele Muluzi, Malawi’s Minister of Health, pleaded with Malawians including chiefs, religious bodies and other stakeholders to take part in the fight against effects of high population. “Health experts observed that low use of family planning methods results in high risk and unsafe pregnancies. Pregnancies that come early and or too frequent have resulted in high levels maternal and neonatal mortality our country. Maternal mortality has declined to 439 per 100,000 live births, but that is still too high,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi said Malawi population is estimated at 17.2 million and is projected to increase further to 43.1 million by 2050. Muluzi said it is unfortunate that the teenage pregnancy rate has increased from 26% in 2010 to 29% in 2015-16.
Officials from USAID, UNFPA also spoke stressing the need for Malawi to embrace family planning methods. A member of parliament, Esther Jolobala, said family planning is the only tool available to help in reducing pressure placed onto the already meagre resources. This year’s commemoration ceremony was done under the theme; “Family Planning: Empowering people, developing nations.”